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Over Easy

Over Easy

The community that began with Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner continues. Today we collect news from outside the usual, and renew the discussion.

The OECD has issued a report that shows continuing economic distress in advanced countries that will not diminish until job creation becomes a priority.

In its employment outlook for 2014, the Paris-based think tank predicted the rate of joblessness in member nations — a grouping of developed economies including much of Europe and the U.S. — would likely tick down over the next 18 months from 7.4 percent to 7.1 percent by the end of 2015. But even so, the lasting effects of the global financial meltdown of nearly six years ago are still being felt. “Almost 45 million people are out of work in OECD countries, 12.1 million more than just before the crisis,” the report noted.

But Stefano Scarpetta, the OECD Director for Employment, Labor and Social Affairs, pointed out that there remained “sharp differences” across member countries in their unemployment rates. For example, he pointed to the 6.2 percent unemployment rate in the U.S. recorded in July this year — the lowest level since September 2008 — and a 3.7 percent unemployment rate in Japan.

The report said that among OECD members, 16.3 million people — more than one in three of all unemployed — have been out of work for 12 months or more in the first quarter of 2014. That number, the report said, was almost twice what it was in 2007.

“Long-term unemployment has probably peaked in most countries, but it remains a major source of concern,” Scarpetta wrote in an editorial accompanying the report. “For countries that saw the biggest increases, there is growing evidence that part of what was originally a cyclical increase in unemployment has become structural and will thus be more difficult to reverse during the economic recovery.”

As peace talks began involving the Ukraine, as NATO convened in Wales,  the announced ceasefire failed to take hold and fighting continued. France’s decision to delay delivery of a contracted Mistral military ship to Russia threatens to cost that country a high price.

Vladimir Putin on Wednesday issued a seven-point peace plan for eastern Ukraine, hours after his Ukrainian counterpart said there was an agreement for a “permanent ceasefire” for the region.

But in a day of confusing mixed messages, Arseny Yatsenyuk, Ukraine’s prime minister, dismissed the peace plan, which Putin had apparently jotted down on a flight to Mongolia, calling it a trap.

On the ground there was no sign of a ceasefire. Clashes continued as both rebels and Ukrainian volunteers said they would continue fighting.

Interpol and Europol’s combined efforts have shown international food crimes are reaching an unprecedented level of occurrence.

The review of Britain’s food supply chains was announced in response to the horsemeat fraud in 2013.

Michael Ellis, assistant director of Interpol, told BBC News: “This has changed the scope of investigations. Criminals have realised that they can make the same amount of money by dealing with counterfeit food. Invariably the sentences are much lighter.

“In my experience, the patterns used by criminals involved in counterfeiting are very similar to those used in the dealing of drugs. They operate front companies, they employ front bank accounts, they will have false declarations for the movement of their goods, they will mis-declare their shipments.”

Never.Give.Up.

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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.

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